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Pregnancy Weight Gain: What's Normal, What's Not

Weight and Pregnancy: Gain Only What You Need
Weight and Pregnancy: Gain Only What You Need
How Much Weight Should You Gain, Total?

Pregnancy is one time in your life when it's perfectly acceptable to put on pounds. But it's important to have slow and steady gain and to keep your weight within healthy range for your body type. Here are some general guidelines -- be sure to ask your healthcare provider for specific recommendations.

Total Weight Gain During Pregnancy
pregnant woman on scale

Photolibrary/Matton

If you were...

Underweight before pregnancy: 28-40 pounds

Normal weight before pregnancy: 25-35 pounds

Overweight before pregnancy: 15-25 pounds

Obese before pregnancy: 15

Carrying twins: 35-45

How Much Weight Should You Gain in the 1st Trimester?

  • Gain 1 to 1 1/2 pounds per month for a total of 3-5 pounds.
  • Consume an extra 200 calories a day (for example, a glass of skim milk, and two slices of turkey breast).

How Much Weight Should You Gain in the 2nd Trimester?

  • Gain about 1 pound per week for a total of 12 to 14 pounds.
  • Consume an extra 300 calories a day (for example, a cup of carrot-orange juice and a cup of low-fat fruit-flavored yogurt).

How Much Weight Should You Gain in the 3rd Trimester?

  • Gain 3/4 to 1 pound per week (weight gain often slows during the last month) for a total of 10 to 14 pounds.
  • Consume an extra 300-500 calories a day (for example, a cup of low-sodium tomato juice and a whole-grain bagel spread with low-fat cream cheese).

Where Does the Pregnancy Weight Go?

In an average pregnancy, weight gain is distributed as follows:

Baby -- 6-8 lbs.

Placenta -- 1-2 lbs.

Increased fluid volume -- 2-3 lbs.

Increased blood volume -- 3-4 lbs.

Amniotic fluid -- 2 lbs.

Enlarged uterus -- 2 lbs.

Enlarged breasts -- 1-2 lbs.

Stored fat and protein (important for lactation) -- 6-8 lbs.

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